King Charles takes down family portrait for heartbreaking reason

King Charles takes down family portrait for heartbreaking reason

The Golden Wedding of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh by Andrew Festing

Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 12/08/2023

- 17:03

A painting that marked the late Queen’s wedding anniversary has been removed from the saloon at Sandringham

King Charles has taken down a group portrait that marked the late Queen’s Golden wedding anniversary.

The painting captures a scene from Windsor Castle on 20 November 1997, when the Royal Family and esteemed guests celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary between Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh.

Queen Elizabeth II was thought to have been fond of the artwork, which was painted by the prestigious artist Andrew Festing.

As such, the painting took pride of place in the saloon at Sandringham, the Royal Family’s Norfolk retreat, for 25 years.

King Charles


However, King Charles has reportedly never been fond of the painting, for it brought back too many painful memories.

“He didn’t like it. It was an unwelcome reminder of one of the worst years of his life,” a source told the MailOnline.

The gathering captured on canvas took place less than three months after Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.

In Festing’s portrait, Charles cuts a sullen and dejected figure, standing alone in the foreground with a drink in hand.

King Charles, then Prince Charles,, Prince William, Prince Harry, Earl Althorp and Duke of Edinburgh walk behind Diana, the Princess of Wales' funeral cortege.


While Charles stares sheepishly and solemnly into the middle distance, many of the foreign monarchs, dignitaries and family members gaze in his direction.

Though Buckingham Palace are said to have declined to comment to the MailOnline, the publication quotes a royal source as saying: “From time to time, displays on the visitor route at Sandringham are adapted.”

In a speech to mark their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, The Queen said: “[Philip] is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

Artist Andrew Festing was born in 1941, educated at Ampleforth College and attended RMA Sandhurst, after which he served in The Rifle Brigade.


King Charles, then Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with their baby son Prince William.King Charles, then Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with their baby son Prince William.PA

Festing painted frequently whilst in the army and took up full time portrait painting in 1981, after spending some time working for Sotheby’s.

A member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters since 1989, Festing served as President of the society from 2002 to 2008.

Festing was awarded an MBE for his services to art in 2007.

Festing has been commissioned by the Royal Family on a number of occasions;

On painting The Queen, Festing said: “When you paint someone like The Queen you have to change the way that you do things, so I did a sketch of the Queen and then transferred that onto the larger canvas, since you can’t really turn up at Buckingham Palace with a seven foot canvas.”

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